A guide to help potential contributors develop their skills.
If you are considering contributing to Exeter Observer please see our contributors guide.
More contributor guides:
- News writing
- News brief
- What is news?
- Objectivity, neutrality, impartiality & balance
- Multimedia collateral & copyright
- Sources & interviews
- Feature writing
- Research resources
- Local government transparency & information access rights
- Data protection & media law
- Digital information and communications security
- Rewriting copy to improve structure
- Editing copy to improve style
- Correcting spelling and grammar
- Checking factual accuracy
- Writing headlines and standfirsts
- Writing image captions
- Choosing pullquotes and dropcaps
- Creating infoboxes
- Cropping/resizing/compressing photos
- Embedding photos and videos inc. descriptive text
- Confirming and including photo/video licensing info
- Ensuring markup/down is correctly formatted esp. links, inverted commas, italics, bold
- Removing superfluous formatting e.g. double spaces
- Enhancing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Identifying potential defamation risks.
Read from start to finish (out loud if possible), matching pace of first-time reader to get overall picture, identify structural errors/weaknesses etc.
- do paragraphs flow in ideal sequence, following points set up in previous paragraph, with strong linking sentences?
- does clear narrative thread run throughout piece that addressed central points/arguments?
- do headline and standfirst accurately represent content?
- does wrap-up draw all necessary threads together and provide satisfactory conclusion?
Edit for structure
Edit for style
Check facts/names/claims etc.
- when explanation or definition required
- to give context or background
- for attribution of source content
- when copyright license required
- for navigation to related material
- within a sentence
- using uniquely descriptive text, ideally containing keywords
- concisely, with no more words than are necessary for an accurate description
- NEVER using click here, read more etc.
NB the above does not consider print publication issues e.g. fitting copy into layout, removing widows/orphans etc.